J. Howard, a pedicab driver from downtown San Diego, spoke before the San Diego City Council during the public comment portion of their April 6 meeting:
“We’re talking about one death that was listed as an accident and all of a sudden this pedicab ordinance has gotten out of control,” said Howard, referring to 60-year-old Sharon Miller, the retired Illinois schoolteacher who took a fatal tumble from a pedicab in July 2009.
According to Howard, a new ordinance will prevent pedicab drivers from leaving their pedicabs at designated parking zones to use the bathroom or to get anything to eat. The ordinance also prohibits pedicab parking at metered parking spaces, and cab drivers are expected to continuously pedal when no designated pedicab parking spaces are available.
Howard referred to the ordinance as “biased” and cited other vehicle-versus-pedestrian accidents that didn’t receive as much public scrutiny and backlash as last July’s. The list included several trolley-related fatalities, a tour bus running over a pedestrian on West Harbor Drive on March 18, and another casualty when a police vehicle collided with a bicyclist last November.
“I just don’t understand why the pedicab industry has come under so much ridicule over one accidental death,” Howard added. “Nobody was charged with murder.”